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February 6th, 2017

6 Habits You Didn’t Realize Were Harming Your Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Life can get busy. And as the minutes and days and activities and events pass by, bad habits can start to form as we fall into our routines – sometimes before we are even aware of them. Let’s dive into some of the most common tooth-related negative habits, so you can avoid these pitfalls and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

avoid these negative dental habits

Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice weakens the enamel and surface areas of your teeth. Because ice is so hard, chewing on it repeatedly leads to uneven wear and tear, and long term will cause permanent chips and cracks in the teeth, which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Eventually, the cracks become large enough that you will require a trip to the dentist for repair. Ice isn’t the only culprit for this type of damage!

Habitually chewing on other hard items like pens, pencils, bobby pins, or paperclips can cause the same damage. If you need to break this habit, try keeping these items out of reach, substitute your chewing urge for sugarless gum, or avoid putting ice in your drinks while you learn to resist the urge (1, 2).

Using Your Teeth As ‘Tools’

Are you in the habit of using your teeth to crack open bottle caps, rip off clothing tags, hold heavy objects, or even as a replacement for scissors when trying to open those tough plastic bags? These and similar actions put traumatic pressure on the bones in the mouth, increasing your likelihood for weakened teeth, chips and cracks in the bone. Try to remember that teeth are there for eating (and smiling!); they are not meant to be used as a substitute for knives, scissors and hands (1,2).

Skipping Your Nighttime Brushing

Late nights out, bedtime snacks, or falling asleep in front of the television can all lead to one bad habit: skipping or forgetting your night time brushing routine. All the sugars and particles from the food and beverages you had since your last brushing session will be left to wreak havoc on your gums and enamel all night long. If you are guilty of this habit, try starting your bedtime rituals a little bit earlier – before you get too sleepy. Once you have brushed, don’t eat or drink anything else except water.

don't skip your night time brushing

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks, especially soda, bathe your teeth in an acidic and sugary environment. This dangerous combination creates the perfect environment for erosion, bacteria growth and decay. Sodas aren’t the only culprit, however. Fruit juices, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages, especially mixed drinks, can contain surprising amounts of sugar and acids as well. Cut back your sugary drinks to a minimal number – or avoid them all together – and when you do indulge, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water in between drinks until you can get home and brush (1,2).

Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard

According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out every year during sports activities and competitions. Mouth guards successfully prevent approximately 200,000 sports-related mouth injuries each year. How many more could be prevented if participants were more diligent about wearing mouth guards? Rough play during high impact sports can occur at any time. Mouth guards are recommended for the following sports: basketball, football, lacrosse, water polo, hockey, softball, skateboarding, rugby, mixed martial arts and soccer. The guard helps cushion rapid or hard blows to the teeth and jaw, lessening your risk for soft tissue injury or tooth loss (2).

avoid tooth loss with mouth guard use

Smoking

If you still smoke or chew tobacco, here’s another petition for you to find a way to quit. Nicotine yellows your teeth and can contribute to or cause oral cancers. Tobacco products also dry out your mouth and increase the amount of plaque buildup around your teeth. Smokers have a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss because of these changes in the conditions of the oral cavity. If you have questions about quitting, discuss them with Dr. Hagen at your next appointment (1,2).

Give Us A Call at Hagen Dental Practice

Need help or advice on how to kick any of these habits, or ensure you don’t have damage already? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your dental needs and how to develop positive oral habits!

Sources

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits#1
  2. http://www.onhealth.com/content/1/protect_teeth_dental_health

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January 24th, 2017

7 Surprising Things That Happen When You Smile

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

We grow up hearing so many things about smiles:

“It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.”

“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.”

“Turn that frown upside down.”

“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened!”

So what exactly happens when we smile?

  1. You’ll End Up With A Better Mood

When you smile, your mood is elevated. Psychologists have found this holds true whether you are feeling grumpy or happy before you smile. The positive impact of a smile helps reduce your stress levels, resulting in a happier disposition (1,2).

  1. Your Immune System Will Get A Boost

Your body relaxes, stress decreases, and energy becomes more positive when you smile. These contribute to good health and a stronger immune system. Frequent smiling causes your body to produce more white blood cells, an important component of your immune system in helping fight and prevent illness (1). Smile your way through the cold season this year!

  1. Your Stress Levels Go Down

Learning to smile in tough or stressful situations can be a challenge, but doing so results in dramatic health benefits by lowering stress and anxiety. People who smile while recovering from a stressful situation are found to have lower heart rates and a calmer presence (1).

smiles are contagious

  1. You’ll Probably Cause Someone Else To Smile

Smiles really are contagious. Research shows that seeing someone smile activates the area of the brain that controls facial movement. Thus, the smilee becomes the smiler! A study in Sweden found that people had difficulty frowning when they looked at smiling subjects; their muscles started twitching into smiles (1,2).

  1. People Will Find You More Confident, Trustworthy And Attractive

Smiles are the most easily recognized facial expression, recognized around the globe as a sign of happiness and acceptance. Smiles make a person seem more attractive, personable, empathetic and confident. Research found that smiles rank higher in attraction than makeup! A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiles do indeed make you more attractive to those you smile at. A smile is an inviting expression that lets people know you are friendly and willing to talk, and helps people trust you more readily (1,2).

cute dog smile through life

  1. Endorphins Are Released

When you smile, a chemical reaction occurs in the brain, releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help you feel happier. Endorphins are those molecules in the body that are released during exercise and running as well, causing “runner’s high” (1,2).

  1. You’ll Feel More Comfortable

Smiling can make you feel more comfortable, even in situations in which you might otherwise feel awkward. Smiling also takes less effort than frowning. Easier facial expressions are a more comfortable option. Smiles also make you more approachable. If others around you feel more comfortable, it will help you feel more comfortable, too (1,2).

feel great about your smile

Call Hagen Dental Practice so That You Can Keep Smiling with Confidence

Hagen Dental wants you to feel great about your smile – so you can show it off to the world and enjoy these physical and emotional benefits! Give us a call to learn more: (513) 251-5500

Sources

  1. http://inspiyr.com/9-benefits-of-smiling/
  2. https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-fascinating-facts-about-smiling/

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January 20th, 2017

How Cavemen Took Care of Their Teeth

Category: dental health

Imagine living in a time when modern conveniences, inventions, hygiene and healthcare were not just luxuries; they were non-existent. Sure, the simplicity of our ancestors’ lifestyle may have had some benefits. But we should all be thankful for modern dentistry, and the convenience of items like toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash. Not to mention the training of dental professionals.

Over the course of humankind, people have been testing and trying things they had access to in an attempt to keep their mouths and teeth clean. Twigs and sticks, powdered concoctions from eggshells and ox hooves, pig’s neck bristles, salt, chalk, and rough cloths make the list of historical dental instruments and tools that people tried and used in an attempt to keep their teeth free of debris (1).

Recently, researchers have discovered clues that tell us how cavemen cleaned their teeth. Karen Harder, a researcher, took a deeper look at calcified plaque from some of the oldest human remains in Europe. How was she able to analyze plaque from thousands of years ago?

As she explained: “The dental plaque is a film that covers your teeth and that’s why you have to brush your teeth every day. If not, it hardens and becomes calcified. Within about 10 days, it’s attached onto your tooth as this extremely hard material that you can’t get off unless you go to the dentist.” Since the caveman had no dentist to speak of, Harder was able to chisel off and analyze this material for further insight into the caveman’s lifestyle.

This analysis of the calcified dental plaque gave insight into the diet and environment of this archaeological specimen. She was able to determine that people in his era ate grasses, seeds, plants and meat. All of these items were eaten raw (2,3).

Grooves between the teeth, combined with indigestible wood fibers she found between the teeth, suggest rudimentary toothpicks that were jammed into the teeth to clean between them as a type of oral hygiene activity (2,3).

cavemen used sticks as rudimentary toothpicks

What Did The Cavemen Have Going For Them?

The evidence Harder found showed the caveman’s diet included mostly starchy plants and meat consumption. Their teeth were actually in pretty great shape despite not having access to today’s toothbrushes, toothpastes and floss.

This is because the processed, sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods and drinks that are so abundant in our society today were not present in his surroundings. This means the cavemen were not as predisposed to things like sugar and acid-related tooth decay, bacteria growth or inflammation, as we are with today’s typical diet (3).

Our teeth are whiter and straighter than our ancestors’ teeth were, but we are still more likely to develop cavities because of the sugars, processed carbohydrates and dietary and lifestyle differences. This means we can’t rely on toothpicks (or sticks) to keep our teeth clean. We must stay diligent with good oral hygiene practices and habits. Thankfully, our dental health practices have progressed into the 21st century, giving us access to skilled dental care and tools and resources for fresh breath and healthy mouths, without having to rummage for and rely on twigs or homemade toothpastes.

today's oral hygiene depends on daily brushing and flossing

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Are your oral hygiene habits backsliding into those of a caveman? Give Hagen Dental a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will help you achieve a healthy smile!

Sources:

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/12/AR2009041202655.html
  2. http://link.springer.com/epdf/article/10.1007/s00114-016-1420-x?shared_access_token=JTuGtofFrWkm76yOABrZt_e4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4elA6FNFLLnlVqGmzv8ewk3pOw-TMnmrQ9de4WZSb2CJufJ81Mpvwv3EQlU56y1Hxk_VJOU3IyR4cRyLfz4j_bTKcJJEJC6Uq7Vv8QuHbX4fcDgI7fMO_V8yf2OAnR2KE=
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/19/a-researcher-discovered-how-cave-men-cleaned-their-teeth-it-will-make-you-want-to-brush-yours/?postshare=4671482250662620&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.ed8f16f9fac6

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January 11th, 2017

New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Category: dental health

The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?

Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!

simple-resolutions-for-a-healthier-smile

1. Brush Daily

One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.

The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).

2. Floss Daily

Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).

3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice

Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.

Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.

choose-water-over-other-beverages

4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options

Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.

Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).

5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush

A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.

6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”

Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.

These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).

7. Double Check Your Calendar

Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-healthier-smile
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits#1
  4. http://www.210wpfd.com/5-easy-new-years-resolutions/

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December 21st, 2016

All I Want for Christmas is My 2 Front Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Baby teeth typically start erupting between the ages of 6 months and a year. This starts the fun and adventurous path of being able to eat more foods and textures, late night teething pain, drooling and chewing on everything in sight, and of course, dental hygiene training.

Kids can go for their first dental checkup as soon as they get a tooth, but anytime before age 3. Because tooth decay in children is on the rise, we recommend the sooner the better; closer to 18 months! You can read more about why HERE.

When kids are ready to erupt their permanent (adult) teeth, the baby teeth start to wiggle, loosen and fall out. This starts the fun adventures of tooth fairy tales, showing off those wiggly teeth, and stories and challenges for getting those stubborn baby teeth out! The top and bottom central incisors (those four teeth front and center in your kid’s toothy smile) are amongst the first to fall out as the permanent teeth grow in and replace them. This typically happens between 6 and 8 years of age.

all-i-want-for-christmas-is-my-two-front-teeth

If this milestone occurs in late fall or early winter, your child has the unique opportunity for the classic Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” to apply to him or her.

There’s something charming about this song, and that toothless open center space as your little one flashes their grin at you. Kids have all sorts of fun while they wait for their central incisors to re-emerge: sipping through a straw without opening their jaw, learning new ways to whistle, pronouncing words in funny and different ways, and poking the tip of their tongue through that little hole.

A child’s early years are a very impressionable and important period to take the time and teach them proper and consistent dental hygiene habits. How can you do this as a family?

Make Tooth Time fun

Brushing as a family can make getting ready for bed a fun activity for everyone to participate in. Make up a brushing song or dance, or make silly faces in the mirror. If your child has a positive experience, they will enjoy it and have good memories associated with this habit for years to come.

make-dental-habits-fun

Make Tooth Time Consistent

Make brushing a routine: every day, twice a day. Don’t skip out on brushing certain days just because your schedule is a little different or the kids are cranky. Consistency is the key to building good brushing habits. This goes for flossing too! Kids who learn to floss everyday won’t forget this important component of oral hygiene as teens and adults.

Incorporate Kid-friendly Products

Colorful toothbrushes splashed with their favorite characters, light-up timers, flossing picks, a stool to reach the sink, kid-friendly paste flavors and easy squeeze tubes all make for a more kid-friendly experience. It is amazing what products are available at your local convenience store.

Check out fun toothpaste flavors like Tom’s of Main Silly Strawberry. You can try something like these light-up timer toothbrushes from Firefly, so your kids know when 60 seconds of brushing has elapsed. Brands like DenTek make some great kid-friendly flosser picks so your kids don’t have to hassle with maneuvering regular floss before they are ready. (These are just ideas; please ask us for more specific information for your child.)

Schedule Regular Dental Visits for Everyone

Introducing your children early to the dental chair helps alleviate fears and anxieties associated with checkups. Keeping YOUR dental checkups regular each year means your kids will learn this is a normal, habitual routine for both you AND them. And keeping up to date on exams for the whole family means if any dental problems arise, we can catch them early to minimize any painful or potentially scary procedures for your little ones.

merry-christmas-from-hagen-dental

No matter what your family situation or how many teeth are present or missing, we wish you a very healthy and Merry Christmas from all of us at Hagen Dental!

Call Us Today

Are you ready to make Hagen Dental your family’s dental home? Give us a call with questions about care for you or your kids, or to schedule your next checkup: (513) 251-5500

Sources and Ideas Taken From:

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eruption-charts
  2. http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/949151/7-kid-friendly-dental-care-products

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December 20th, 2016

Be Ready For the Mistletoe With These Breath-Boosting Tips

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.

Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!

is-your-breath-ready-for-mistletoe

The Quick-Fix Options

Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.

Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.

Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).

Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).

Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.

Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).

Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).

The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues

Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.

dont-let-bad-breath-ruin-your-day

Worried About Getting Too Close?

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Bad-Breath-on-the-Spot
  • http://www.livescience.com/40052-get-rid-bad-breath.html
  • http://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-fresh-breath/

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December 15th, 2016

Save Money & Stay Healthy with Preventive Dental Care

Category: dental health

Good dental health prevention helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and other oral diseases, dysfunctions and issues. What does this mean for you? Fresher breath, a healthy and comfortable mouth, less trips to the dentist for surgeries, and less money spent!

Preventive dentistry is simply the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy, rather than waiting for a problem to arise.

dental-prevention-prevents-future-problems

Here are the top seven ways you can make preventive dentistry part of your normal routine:

1. Brush Your Teeth Daily

This is up there as one of the most important preventive habits. Brush your teeth and tongue twice daily to remove bacteria, germs and food particles from your mouth, and freshen up your breath (1).

2. Brush Properly

The WAY you brush is as important as how OFTEN you brush. Take your time, gently brushing in a circular motion to remove plaque and debris. Cross friction and brushing too hard can lead to gum erosion. Brushing too hurriedly can mean missing spots or removal of debris (2).

the-way-you-brush-is-important

3. Floss Daily

Flossing cleans out the tight spaces between the teeth, stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and lowers inflammation in the area. This is just as important as brushing! Want to make sure you’re flossing the correct way? Ask us at your next dental appointment to ensure you’re getting the full flossing benefit.

4. Consider Mouthwash

Mouthwash helps in several ways: It reduces the acidity of the mouth, cleans harder-to-brush areas in and around the gums and base of teeth, and helps to re-mineralize the teeth.

5. Visit Your Dentist

You should see us at least twice per year for your oral exam and cleanings. Dental cleanings allow our dental professionals to clean your teeth more effectively than what you can accomplish at home. At least one of those visits should include an exam to check for early signs of problems in your teeth or gums.

The examination takes a deeper look at the health of your oral cavity: x-rays to detect early issues or changes, oral cancer screenings of the surrounding tissues, and comparative checkups to ensure continued oral health. Early detection of disease or dental issues is critical to keeping problems to a minimum.

early-detection-is-part-of-prevention

6. Eat a Balanced Diet

Just like the rest of your body, your teeth need proper nutritional building blocks and vitamins to stay healthy. Limiting your sugars, simple carbohydrates, acidic foods and acidic beverages are important choices to help lower your risk of infections and tooth wear (1,2).

7. Drink More Water

It is very important to stay hydrated for overall health, and oral health is no exception. Drink plenty of water throughout your day. This can help neutralize negative effects of various sticky or acidic foods and beverages (1,2).

Preventive dentistry habits save you time, money and toothache (literally) by helping you avoid or lessening the effects of cavities, gingivitis, tooth decay and enamel loss, and periodontitis. Prevention is more fun – and much less costly – than tooth extractions, cavity fillings and root canals. The most effective way to ensure optimal dental health is to defend against and stop disease before it even starts. Now that is something to smile about!

Give Us A Call At Hagen Dental Practice

Are you ready to give yourself the gift of better dental health this holiday season? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your preventive dental needs!

Sources

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/preventative-dentistry
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/best-practices-for-healthy-teeth
  3. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/bringing-disease-prevention-to-communities_adh.ashx

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December 7th, 2016

Can Gum Recession Happen In An Otherwise Healthy Mouth?

Category: dental health

The short answer is that yes, gum recession can happen in a mouth that is otherwise ”healthy.”

Gum recession is the process during which the margin of gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or pulls back. This process causes exposure of more of the tooth’s surface, or even the tooth’s root.

Gaps can form between the teeth and gum line, creating an easy place for bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the teeth can become severely damaged, cause extreme discomfort, and even lead to tooth loss.

How Does it Happen?

Gum recession usually happens gradually. Signs include tooth sensitivity or noticing a tooth that seems to have “gotten longer”. There can also be a noticeable notch where the tooth meets the gum. It’s important NOT to ignore these signs. Prevention (when possible) and early treatment are the keys to repairing the gum and tooth and prevent further damage.

what-causes-gum-recession

What Causes Gum Recession?

Part of the reason that gum recession can happen, even if you have good oral health habits, comes down to how it happens. Here are a few scenarios that can lead to recession:

Insufficient Dental Care: Skipping or slacking on your regular dental hygiene habits makes it much easier for plague to turn into tartar. This hard substance builds on and between your teeth, and can only be removed at a professional dental cleaning. Tartar increases the likelihood of gum recession. So keep up your daily habits like regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash to keep tartar buildup to a minimum.

Periodontal Disease: Bacterial infections can destroy gum tissue and the supporting boney tissue that hold the teeth in place. Regular checkups, healthy dietary choices, and proper oral hygiene routines are paramount to preventing gum infection.

many-factors-that-can-cause-gum-recession

Remember this: even if you have an otherwise healthy mouth, and stay regular with your oral hygiene, there are many other factors that can cause your gums to start receding:

Genetics: Some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Some people have thinner or weaker gum tissue to start with. Others have larger, more prominent roots. Some studies show that approximately 30% of the population are predisposed to gum recession, regardless of how well they care for their teeth (1,2).

Brushing Too Hard: Aggressive tooth brushing creates a high risk for gum recession. This includes several components: Trauma to the gum tissue associated with brushing too hard, using too hard a toothbrush, or cross friction as you brush sideways across the gums. These factors can cause the enamel on the teeth to wear away, and irritate the gums, causing them to recede. The safest way to brush is gently, with a soft-bristled brush, in an up and down motion (1,2). Remember how we’ve talked about the benefits of flossing and using an electric toothbrush? It’s all making sense now since we don’t typically brush as hard when using an electric toothbrush.

Hormonal Changes: Women are more susceptible to gum recession related to hormone fluctuations. Across the course of a woman’s life, changes that accompany puberty, pregnancy and menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco Products: Tobacco users develop sticky plaques on their teeth, which also can lead to gum recession.

Grinding and Clenching: The added forces and pressure placed on the teeth that are associated with clenching and grinding of the jaw serve to irritate the gums at their attachment site on the bone, causing the gum tissue to recede from the base of the tooth. A custom-made mouth guard can be helpful for night bruxism. (Ask us for more information specific to you.)

Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bite: If teeth don’t come together evenly, increased and imbalanced forces are placed upon the gums and bones, increasing the probability that the gums will recede (1, 2). Invisalign is a great alternative to braces to help straighten issues with crooked teeth or bite.

Lip or Tongue Piercings: Jewelry in or around the oral cavity can cause repetitive irritation or rubbing of the gums, leading to wearing away of the affected gum tissue.

Trauma to the Gum Tissue: Traumatic injury to the teeth or gums from events such as accidents, fights, sports injuries or falls can lead to gum recession.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today for all Your Oral Health Needs

Do you have questions about the prevention or treatment of gum recession? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have regarding your gums or your dental health! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/receding_gums_causes-treatments#1
  2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/gums-receding.htm
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/receding-gums-and-treatment-and-causes-0214

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November 30th, 2016

It’s Wellness Wednesday!

Category: dental health

By now you’ve fought through the fierce crowds and lines of Black Friday, loosened your purse strings for Small Business Saturday, and shopped from home while searching high and low for great finds on Cyber Monday.

Hopefully you’ve walked away from it all unscathed, grabbed some good deals, and accomplished much of your holiday shopping! Are you exhausted yet?

its-time-for-wellness-wednesday

We hope you have some energy left, because it’s time for Wellness Wednesday! With all this focus on shopping, potentially a lot of missed sleep, the stress of travelling and visitors, and the anticipation of the holidays, it’s easy for our WELLNESS habits and goals to get lost in the shuffle.

“Is Oral Health Really an Important Part of Our Overall Health?”

Yes! In fact, your oral health gives clues about your overall health. Problems in your mouth can not only affect the rest of your body, but can indicate underlying health issues. Your oral health is more important than you might have even realized.

dental-health-as-a-clue-towards-overall-health

Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria in the mouth can reach levels that can lead to infections. Natural defenses coupled with regular oral health care help to keep these bacteria under control.

Chronic inflammation of gum disease can play a role in other diseases and inflammation of the body, making both conditions more severe. Inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease can be linked to infections that oral bacteria can cause, according to some research.

Your state of overall health relates directly to your heart health.

Bacteria that enter the body, including through your mouth, can spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart, leading to endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart.

Oral health is important for mom and baby during pregnancy. Inflammation and infection in your mouth has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

But That’s Not All…

Certain pre-existing conditions can affect your oral health. Diabetes, for example, reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting your gums at higher risk for disease. The reverse is true as well: People with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, so regular dental health care can improve diabetes control. Another example is osteoporosis, in which there is an increased risk for periodontal bone loss and tooth loss, due to the weakness of the bone structure.

Medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants can all reduce saliva flow. Since saliva is so important for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles, this reduction in saliva can give bacteria a chance to thrive and potentially lead to complications, gum disease, or other inflammatory processes.

The team at Hagen Dental wants to remind you to keep up with your regular dental hygiene. Floss and brush daily, stay hydrated, and try to avoid indulging in too many of the sweets and treats that are so prevalent this time of year. If you have a dental checkup scheduled, don’t skip it! This time of year can get busy, but your health is worth making time for.

Another Wellness Wednesday tip: When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? If it’s been more than 4 months, it’s time to change… so add a toothbrush to your shopping list!

Improve Your Total Health: Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References to read more:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

 

 

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November 17th, 2016

Be Thankful: How Science Says that Having Gratitude is Good For Your Health

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Thanksgiving season reminds us to be grateful for all the positive things in our lives—big and small. The practice of gratitude is not only seasonal, it’s great for your health, too!

benefits-of-gratitude

Gratitude as One of Many Positive Habits

Mental health professionals have recently started taking a close look at how qualities such as gratitude can impact our health. The findings are very positive: grateful people tend to take better care of themselves, and engage in protective and proactive health behaviors such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, good sleeping habits, and regular checkups and examinations from their general practitioner and their dentist (1).

It’s a Stress Reliever

High levels of stress, left unchecked, can make us sick. It’s linked to chronic disease, heart disease, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and a high percentage of why people visit the doctor. But it turns out, gratitude helps people manage stress and cope with daily problems (1).

Boosts Your Immunity

Gratitude and optimism go hand in hand. These characteristics seem to boost the immune system, according to research. A psychology professor at the University of Utah found that people with higher levels of optimism showed higher counts of blood cells that are important for immune system function, compared to more pessimistic people (1). Being consistently mindful of the things you have to be thankful for boosts your well-being (2).

Helps You Be a Better Friend

According to a 2003 study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gratitude tends to boost pro-social behaviors, such as helping others, lending emotional support, or assisting with problems. This also has the benefit of strengthening your relationships (2).

learn-to-have-more-gratitude

How to Become More Optimistic and Grateful

 Those who are more mindful of benefits they’ve received, or whose perspective in life has them focusing their attention outward tend to naturally have a more grateful mindset. But you can learn to increase the gratitude in your life!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Start a gratitude journal. Keep it by your bed and write a few things in it each night for which you are grateful. Psychology Today reported this habit has a side benefit: falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer (2).
  • Tell someone you are grateful for them. Gratitude can be contagious!
  • Create a list of great things in your life. Then ask yourself, “Do I take these for granted?” Look at this list daily as a reminder of all you have to be thankful for.
  • Watch your self-talk, and your conversation with others. Are you using optimistic and appreciative sentiments and phrases? Or do your words, thoughts and conversations tend to have a negative or complaining undertone?
  • Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Changing the perspective of how you look at a situation can make you more understanding and patient about what is going on. This can help improve your gratitude as well.
  • When you feel yourself getting upset, or ready to complain about a situation, stop for a minute. Is there anything about the situation that has potential? Is there a silver lining? Can you look on the bright side?
  • Find the positive in a challenge. What positive traits might a tough situation help you improve? Patience? Empathy? Understanding? Teamwork? Courage? Be grateful for the challenge and the learning experience.

So, practice gratitude this month, keep smiling, and enjoy your Thanksgiving with your newly appreciative attitude. And be sure to sprinkle in a healthy dose of gratitude into your life all year long—for your health! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from Hagen Dental Practice.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/women/features/gratitute-health-boost#1
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/gratitude-healthy-benefits_n_2147182.html

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